5 Great Christmas Markets in Europe

21 Nov 2016

Yes, it's that time of year again, chestnuts roasting on the open fire while Jack Frost spreads his festive cheer all around, the in-laws are planning their assault on your home and the stampede has begun at the checkouts in the supermarkets – oh what joy this time of year brings.

Why not get yourself into the spirit with a cheeky little getaway in a nice hotel not too far from home, kill two birds with one stone by browsing a Christmas market and picking up a few little quirky gifts for your nearest and dearest and charge up your batteries in preparation for the season.

Helsinki

The famous Senate Square hosts the annual Christmas market in Helsinki from December 3rd till 22nd, get all things Finnish here from tinned herring to speciality vodka and with flights to Helsinki from only £99 return you can afford to splash out on a luxury hotel experience.

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Strasbourg

Home to Europe's oldest Christmas market and billed as "Capital de Noel" the Place Kléber kicks off on the 25th November right up until New Year's Eve. As it sits on the French side of The Rhine just across from Germany you get a mixture of both worlds, a culture junkies paradise. A hop skip and jump will take you to Place Saint Thomas where Christmas shows and entertainment will keep the boredom at bay if you have the little ones in tow.

Budapest

The old town and new town Straddle across the River Danube and the run up to Christmas sees the whole city awash with pop up markets, the best of all being the one in Vörösmarty Square, where handmade Russian dolls sit alongside quirky baubles and goulash to die for is washed down with spiced mulled wine, flights to Budapest start at around £89 and with a number of underground spas dotted around town provided you do not overdo it on the shopping trips you should return rejuvenated.

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Berlin

Germany is renowned for its Christmas markets and Berlin has to be top of the league with over 50 markets to choose from. The gothic towers of Charlottenburg Castle provide the most romantic backdrop ever to a Christmas market stroll arm in arm with your loved one while browsing stalls and sipping on mulled wine.

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Prague

Where else would you want to be on the run up to St Stephens day other than Wenceslas Square outside St Nicholas' church? You cannot get more festive than that, overshadowed by one of Europe's biggest Christmas trees all that yuletide spirit is bound to rouse some Christmas cheer into the most humbug of Scrooges.